How To

Capturing Lifestyle Images with Kids - 5 Tips for Better Images

About Jessalyn Blog Post-13.jpg

I sometimes get asked what ‘lifestyle’ photography really is. To me, lifestyle photography is a perfect blend of documentary photography - or capturing life as it really is - and loose posing.

For example: the image above is 100% documentary. Pantless, winter hat in the scorching heat, and a lollipop. That’s exactly how I found him and happened to grab my camera fast enough to capture this phase of toddler hood.

jessalyn prins photography family and lifestyle photographer

However this image is more lifestyle: this is an everyday childhood moment that I wanted to portray. I found a perfect patch of light, set out an egg carton and some markers and invited him to come color. I stood out of the way and captured what I saw.

I love capturing and documenting their childhood both ways! But honestly, I don’t always have my camera in arms reach so I like to recreate parts of their childhood.

Here are my 5 tips to capturing lifestyle images:

  1. The vision: simply decide what you want to capture. Does it make you crack up every time your baby dumps oatmeal on his head? Or maybe it is the little lullabies your daughter sings to her dolls. Or the way they sit and race their dinky cars over the hardwood floors. Take a few minutes to think through what piece of their childhood you want to capture.
     

  2. Set the stage: find a nice spot in your home with even lighting. Pick up and move anything that might distract from what you are wanting to capture. Set up the props.
    Have your camera ready! Make sure there is room to take photos, adjust any settings, and have it ready to go.
     

  3. Invite your subject: invite your child into the little set up you have made. Don’t bribe them, or try and convince them they need to go over there, just nonchalantly invite them as if it isn’t a big deal, and it might just be a grand old time.
     

  4. Sit back, don’t say anything and capture what you see. This is where you really get those sweet emotions, the realness of the moment, and what I believe is the magic. Just let them be and when they are done, thank them for coming over and playing in that space.
    Remember to move around (as subtley as possible) and get several different angles - on their level, above them, off to the side. It makes a wonderful series of images.

How to Incorporate Heirlooms into your Photos - Belleville Family Photographer

family photography belleville cobourg kingston

Now before you don’t think this little post is for you - I don’t mean the fancy china your great aunt Matilda gave you or the delicate figurines your grandmother passed on to you for safekeeping. I’m talking about the pieces of your life that have incredible value and meaning to you. Pieces that have been slowly added and are attached to dear memories. Some of my favorites items I have sees brought to their family photography sessions: 

A quilt you so lovingly stitched for your new baby

Your toddlers lovey or teddy they can’t sleep without

A special book you often snuggle and read with your kids

A special necklace handed down to you

A favorite flower your loved one gives you on special occasions

a vintage truck loving restored

Items that give meaning, items that speak to who your family are, those pieces make your portraits even more special. They are so easy to incorporate - your job is simply to bring them along! My job is to find ways to tuck those heirlooms into the images! It is so simple because they are often already a part of who you are. Babies are snuggled in special quilts or allowed to roll around, toddlers cuddle their meaningful teddys, you all cuddle onto the bed or snuggle onto each others laps and pull out the favorite book, you hold the flower between you and breathe in the memories.

What are some of your special heirlooms that you would want to see in your images?

How to Prepare for Your Maternity Session

jessalyn prins photography maternity session family photography belleville photographer kingston photographer

Congratulations! Pregnancy is such a beautiful time full of dreams, little kicks and turns, and an exciting future ahead. It can also be hard, exhausting, and you don’t always feel your best or your prettiest. But remember - pregnancy is beautiful, you have that amazing glow, and your body is doing something amazing - new life is growing inside you.

Location: Sit back, close your eyes for a minute and imagine your session - where do you want to be? A gorgeous open field? The beach with the sand squishing between your toes? A favorite park with a forest close by? An urban feel? Or maybe it’s the comfort of your own home. Start with what you want the backdrop of your images to be; when you know the landscape you want it’s as simple as picking the spot.

Belleville, Kingston, Cobourg and all the surrounding areas have so many gorgeous locations and conservation areas we can easily find something to suit your vision.

Who is included in the session: The focus of a maternity session is you and the beauty growing inside of you; but we also want to celebrate Dad -  his love and pride for his coming baby and any siblings who are eager for this new joy to enter their world.


Wardrobe:  Pregnancy is such a special time - and you are a beautiful (even if you don’t feel like it). I always suggest moms - to - be to stop and enjoy this bit of time to pamper yourself and celebrate. These are images that you will look back on and cherish. Spend time doing your hair and makeup you love. Select clothing that makes you feel like the queen you are. Flowing dresses are incredible flattering and look amazing with a baby bump but your personal style is important to incorporate into the shoot. Choose your outfit first and coordinate any other outfits around yours. It’s your day - let’s celebrate what you are creating!

Preparing For Your Family Photography Session

family photography jessalyn prins photography belleville photographer

Hello there! If you're reading this you have either booked a family photography session or are envisioning your next session. Don’t worry - while planning can sometimes seem overwhelming I am going to break it down for you. It can actually be a lot of fun - and if you still feel lost, I’m only a phone call away. I love helping families design their sessions and discover the perfect vision for their family. There are a couple important details to go over. Let’s start!

Location: First off, Location is an important part of your session. Sit back, close your eyes for a minute and imagine your family session - where do you want to be? A gorgeous open field? The beach with the sand squishing between your toes? A favorite park with a forest close by? An urban feel? Or maybe it’s the comfort of your own home. Start with what you want the backdrop of your images to be; when you know the landscape you want it’s as simple as picking the spot.

Ontario has so many gorgeous locations and conservation areas we can easily find something to suit your vision.

Time: The time of day your session takes place plays a huge role in the outcome of your images. That soft golden light in the early morning and late evening creates such a dreamy feel to your images. 1-2 hours before sunset is recommended; if you have little ones a later nap helps them to be happy and content if it’s a little past their usual bedtime.

Home sessions are generally done late morning when the sun is the brightest and flooding your home with natural light.

Length of Session: Sessions typically last about 1 hour; they are relaxed, meaningful and most of all fun! Don’t worry - this time frame gives me plenty of time to capture a diverse and beautiful gallery for you. Now remember, no stressing, 1 hour is not a fixed time, if we need a bit longer or need to take a break for the littles to grab a snack and regroup it’s more than fine! Relax, and enjoy the session and the memories we are creating.

What to Wear: This is actually so much fun! I suggest two things - 1. Don’t attempt to ‘match’ but coordinate instead 2. Dress Mom first! Mom, we know your the one typically behind the camera capturing your family at the park, doing their crazy kid antics, and those adorable sleeping faces - this is your time to shine in front of the camera and showcase the love and pride you have for your family. Dress yourself in something you love and feel comfortable in and from there select the children’s and hubby’s outfit based on your outfit. If you need any help I am always on stand by - feel free to send me a message with pictures of outfits and I can help you pick the right pieces!

Props: Little props can make such a difference in the unique beauty of your session. Does your child have a special lovey or teddy they always have in hand? Perhaps a favorite book you snuggle down to read every night together? A special quilt you can all pile on that has special meaning? Clients have found that these small additions have added so much meaning to their final images.

Your Children: Let’s be real - kids will want to pose and smile for a picture for maybe 10 seconds before they are off running. Don’t worry; my goal is to capture authentic family images that showcase your unique beauty as a family. It’s okay for the kids to play, explore, and be themselves. I have lots of little tricks up my sleeve to keep the session fun and engage your littles to capture the images you so dearly treasure. Trust me, we are going to have a fun relaxing time. Clients often say they are surprised at what a good time they have during the session (even the kids!). Sessions are always full of laughter, family cuddles, and sweet moments forever held in the images created.